Staff Profile:Professor Hilary Geoghegan

Professor Hilary Geoghegan
Job Title:
Areas of Interest:
  • Cultural Geography
  • Science and technology as leisure and work
  • Natural environment and climate change through landscape and volunteering
  • Architecture, heritage and museum collections
  • Citizen science, civic geographies and public histories
Research groups / Centres:

Key facts:

Hilary is a cultural geographer specialising in enthusiasm. Through her research, she seeks to understand more fully what motivates and sustains individual and collective participation in activities, hobbies, interests, projects and research. Hilary is interested in relations between people and the material world, particularly as they change over space and time. To date her research has examined passions for technology, architecture, wetland birds, weather and trees.

Hilary has a PhD in Human Geography on the cultures of enthusiasm (with MA in Cultural Geography (Research) and BA (Hons) in Geography with European Study). Prior to joining the University of Reading, Hilary worked at UCL on her ESRC Future Research Leader award researching what motivates and sustains participation in citizen science projects relating to tree health. She has also held an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2008-09), as well as worked at the University of Exeter on the ESF-funded project 'From Climate to Landscape: Imagining the Future' (2009-12), which connects her work on enthusiasm to understanding the local effects of climate change.

She has also secured research funds from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), for a study exploring the role, contribution and value of the volunteer wetland bird counters to knowledge of the effects of climate change and subsequent conservation policy. Hilary is also Co-I (with Dr Hannah Neate (UCLan)) on a British Academy small grant researching 'Cultures of Architectural Enthusiasm' in order to investigate how volunteer guides articulate, experience and interpret 20th century architecture. From April to September 2012, she worked as an AHRC research fellow at the Science Museum on a project gathering the stories and memories of women who worked on the telephone switchboard in Enfield between 1925 and 1960. This also involved an exhibition and project blog.


Craggs, R., Geoghegan, H. and Neate, H. (2013) Architectural enthusiasm: visiting buildings with The Twentieth Century Society. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. doi:10.1068/d14512

Woodyer, T. and Geoghegan, H. (2013) (Re)enchanting geography? The nature of being critical and the character of critique in human geography. Progress in Human Geography 37 195-214 doi: 10.1177/0309132512460905

Geoghegan, H. (2013) Emotional geographies of enthusiasm: belonging to the Telecommunications Heritage Group Area 45 40-46 doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01128.x

Geoghegan, H. and Leyshon, C. (2012) Shifting Shores: managing landscape challenge and change on the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall. Landscape Research doi: 10.1080/01426397.2012.697137

Leyshon, C. and Geoghegan, H. (2012) Landscape and Climate Change. In The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies. Editors: Howard P. et al. Routledge, London

Geoghegan, H. and Brace, C. (2012) On climate change and cultural geography: farming on the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, UK. Climatic Change 113 (1) 55-66 doi: 10.1007/s10584-012-0417-5

Leyshon, C. and Geoghegan, H. (2012) Absence and uncertain imminence: a cattle grid and the presencing of climate change. Area 44 (2) 237-244 doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01082.x

Brace, C. and Geoghegan, H. (2011) Human geographies of climate change: landscape, temporality and lay knowledges. Progress in Human Geography 35 (3) 284-302 doi: 10.1177/0309132510376259

Geoghegan, H. (2010) Museum geography: exploring museums, collections and museum practice in the UK. Geography Compass 4 (10) 1462-1476 doi: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00391.x

Geoghegan, H. (2009) 'If you can walk down the street and recognise the difference between cast iron and wrought iron, the world is altogether a better place': being enthusiastic about industrial archaeology. M/C Journal: a journal of media and culture 12 (2)

Dr Hilary Geoghegan

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 8915

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